DO NOT BE AFRAID
Luke 1:13 “But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.”
We can stop being afraid. Gabriel tells Zechariah to stop. He wouldn’t command that if it wasn’t possible to do. It is possible. Fear can be stopped.
Fear needs to be stopped because it paralyses us from moving. Zechariah would have to begin to move because God was already moving.
Gabriel then shows Zechariah how to stop being afraid:
- Know that God has heard the prayer you have prayed.
Which prayer? He has heard them all.
- The prayers of old. The ones said in your youth.
- The forgotten prayers. Those that now don’t seem that important anymore.
- Know that God can.
What can God do?
- He can override the natural. He can embarrass common sense. He can make a mockery of the wisest most intelligent brains in the world.
- He can wait way too long so that the impossible (Elizabeth was barren) is now even impossible (she is now too old) and everyone who could claim they had a part to play in this prayer being answered has long gone, leaving only God Himself. The one left gets the glory.
- Know that you have work to do
Fear is stopped when we know we are still part of His story.
- It is the work of grace. The work is to set apart what God gives you. Zechariah was to give his son the identity ‘Yahweh is gracious’. We need to set our lives apart for grace. 500 years before Zechariah there was a prophet of the same name. He was struggling to motivate the people to build the temple and so again an angel comes to his help with a message: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ Zechariah 4: 6-7. God works through grace and it is the work He wants us involved in. It is the only way.
- It is to let go of pride and control. Zechariah was not to call his son after himself, something that would lead to an argument later with other people, but John. His son would not be fashioned after him. He had to release him to follow a different path. Zechariah had to let go.
These are the 3 things that helped Zechariah be free of fear.
He has heard you.
He has work for you.